Saturday, 23 June 2012

My quest to find the best rose perfume

Rose images used in this article are courtesy
When posed with the question 'If you had to give up one of your senses, which one would you choose?' my sense of smell is the first one I'd choose to keep. Where sight and hearing are necessity senses - ones that I take for granted, smell is the one that gives me the most pleasure. It can instantly lift my mood and bring with it a flood of memories - I don't know why but I just love the smell of tomato leaves; mangoes smell like Christmas to me because my Nanna used to buy us a box of mangoes each Christmas; the smell of salty sea air makes me happy as it means I am near the water; lemongrass sweeps me back to my honeymoon in Thailand; since becoming a mum I finally understand why people go on and on about the smell of newborns and often find myself snorting up my newborn's deliciousness; but my favourite scent of all would have to be that of the rose.

As long as I can remember I have always stopped to smell the roses. And when I do, it makes me feel intensely happy. I love the heady, intoxicating scent of a red rose or the surprisingly strong and fresh smell of a pink rose. Conversely, I hate the red roses you find in a florist that a bred for their beauty but have next to no fragrance. They are a tease for me as I feel the real beauty of the rose, it's amazing scent, has been removed.

Without realising it, I have been on a quest for most of my life to find the best rose perfume. When I was a kid, maybe 10 or 11, my neighbours grew stunningly fragrant red roses. I used to sneak over and pick all the petals off the roses, put them in a jar and cover them in water to try and capture the rose perfume. No surprises, I was unsuccessful with this experiment and my resulting concoction was nothing more than a jar full of pungent fermenting petals (though it did show that I was destined to be a scientist from a young age!).

When I was in my teens I would go to Paddy's Markets and buy rose 'essential oil'. In hindsight it was most definitely not genuine essential oil as I think I paid about $8 for 50ml. Back then I naively believed the seller when they told me it was genuine, and worse still I use to apply it to my face. I remember it stinging so I shudder to think what I was actually putting on my face.

For Christmas, when I was 17, Nonny (my grandmother) sent me a Jurlique Rose gift pack which contained a shower gel, hand cream and their best selling Rosewater Freshener. At this stage I had not heard of Jurlique but one spray of the Freshener literally changed my life. It was the most amazing thing that I had ever smelt. It smelt exactly like a bunch of fresh red roses and each time I sprayed it I was hit with a wave of euphoria as I inhaled the magical scent. I believe that it was probably that one gift that really ignited my obsession for beauty and also my quest for the best rose perfume. The scent of the Jurlique Rosewater Freshener is my ideal rose perfume but, alas, it lingers barely 2 minutes on the skin so my quest had to continue.

When I was about 20 my then boyfriend (and now husband) bought me 1ml of (this time) genuine absolute rose essential oil. It was the first time that I had smelt absolute rose essential oil and I remember being surprised that it didn't smell as 'rosey' as a fresh red rose. Beautiful, yes, just not as crisp and fresh as a rose in bloom. So the quest continued.

Over the years I have bought a bottle or perfume here or there in an attempt to find the perfect rose perfume. At times I have felt like I have come close, yet I have not quite found my perfection in a bottle. I recently read a review for Fleur de Thé Rose Bulgare by Creed which has been described as possibly the greatest rose perfume ever created. This one review completely ignited my desires to find my perfection in a bottle, in fact, it turned it into an obsession!

So, I have decided to take you along with me on my quest to find my perfection in a bottle - the best rose perfume - by reviewing a variety of rose perfumes as I trial them. So far, I have the following perfumes in my list:

Evelyn Rose Eau De Parfum - Crabtree & Evelyn
Fleur de Thé Rose Bulgare - Creed
Imogen Rose - Lush
Joy - Jean Patou
L’Eau d’Issey Florale - Issey Miyake
Rose Essentielle Eau de Parfum - Bulgari
Red Roses Cologne - Jo Malone
Rose The One - Dolce & Gabbana
Tea Rose - Perfumer's Workshop

This list is not final and I would love further suggestions of fragrances that I should try. Especially as perfumes differ so much from person to person.

So, please tell me - what is the best rose fragrance that you have ever smelt?

(Is it just me, or can you virtually smell the scent of fresh roses emitting from your computer screen, just by looking at these gorgeous images?)

All images used in this article are courtesy of Best Top Desktop HD Wallpapers